President’s Column | Anti-Trump Side Launches Campaign of Civil Revenge Against Presidency

at President, NRA posted on March 31, 2017
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This feature appears in the March ‘17 issue of NRA America’s 1st Freedom, one of the official journals of the National Rifle Association.  

“What began as a high-minded discussion about how to position the Democratic Party against President Donald Trump appears to be nearing its conclusion. The bulk of the party has settled on a scorched-earth, not-now-not-ever model of opposition.

“In legislative proposals, campaign promises, donor pitches and even in some Senate hearings, Democrats have opted for a hard-line, give-no-quarter posture, a reflection of a seething party base that will have it no other way.”

Those are the lead paragraphs of a story headlined “Democrats launch scorched-earth strategy against Trump.” They sum up a declaration of war on the American political system by petulant sore losers and extreme far-left radicals among the party elite—all hyped by a seething national media. 

The American political system—the best in the world—does not call for civil revenge for losers, but that’s what this is.

The Politico article summed up the violent angst of the Democratic leadership as fear over “Trump’s deeply polarizing and norm-violating style.”

What could be more norm-violating than boycotting our national celebration of the inauguration of a new president? What could be more norm-violating than praising growing violent protests where Trump supporters are assaulted? What could be more norm-violating than a whole party in Congress dedicated to stopping the business of governing?

And what is more deeply polarizing than what some Democrats are declaring as “all-out war.” War? Nineteenth-century military visionary, Carl von Clausewitz’s definition of “war” aptly covers the raving apoplexy of this rogue political class: “War therefore is an act of violence to compel our opponent to fulfill our will.”

What we are seeing is an unhinged segment of a political party chasing after a “seething party base” that is the very cause of the defection of huge numbers of Democrats who have been the traditional centrist base of the party.

With this radical party vision—which sees the destruction of the Second Amendment as a basic tenet—middle America is being chased away in huge numbers. In the November 2016 elections, they were chased away and voted for Donald J. Trump, who offered this neglected and ridiculed segment of America a better future.

The watchword of the destructive mission of the Democratic leadership is “resist.”

Resist what? Resist the results of a fair and open election? Resist the will of the people? Resist our system of government? Resist orderly change? Resist the Constitution and laws of the United States?

The defection of middle America is largely the result of eight years of Barack Obama’s regime that ruled without the “consent of the governed.”

The most basic elements of Obama’s imperial pledge to “fundamentally transform the USA” have been an unrelenting attack on the individual rights and the liberty secured by those rights that made our people the freest in the world.

Obama, on leaving the presidency in January, said his greatest regret was not inflicting more gun control on peaceable Americans. His model for “sensible gun safety” was Australia, where governments twice disarmed licensed gun owners of their registered firearms.

Obama’s massive attempt at “transformation” has, for eight long years, denigrated, ridiculed and eroded our bedrock values, our culture, our work ethic, our economy, our jobs and our exceptionalism.

In his effort, Obama failed to “fundamentally transform” the nation, but he succeeded in “fundamentally transforming” his party. The fruits of that destruction are what we are seeing today.

Between House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, pledges of scorched earth represent a kind of destructive violence on our political system.

As a young minority counsel on the House Judiciary Committee, I participated in the successful, hard-fought, bipartisan effort to enact the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Throughout my years in government relations, I learned that success usually came through bipartisan cooperation and friendly disagreement.

The NRA has always been politically ecumenical; never favoring party. In fact, the creation of the NRA-Institute for Legislative Action was moved by an NRA Board member, Congressman John Dingell, a liberal Democrat.

The enactment of the 1986 McClure-Volker reforms removing the more onerous provisions of the 1968 Gun Control Act was the result of years of bipartisan cooperation led by U.S. Sen. James A. McClure, a Republican from Idaho, and U.S. Rep. Harold Volker, a Democrat from Missouri.

We have always supported Democrats who share our beliefs, and we always will.  With the very presidency of Trump at stake, all we fought for—the future of the First and Second Amendments—is at risk as never before.



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